Friday, November 4

U.S. 9TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS MAY BE SPLIT UP

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- arguably the most liberal, most backlogged, most reversed, and most activist court in the nation -- may get a much-needed overhaul. The court that has trashed parental prerogatives regarding the sex education of their children, banned the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in classrooms, and turned the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution inside out, among other judicial outrages, may be split up.

The Washington Times reports today (excerpts follow):

Buried deep in the massive House spending-cut proposal is a provision to do what many conservatives have been wanting to do for years: split up the liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and allow President Bush to appoint some new judges to it.

Republicans said the change would be good for the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit, the largest and most backlogged of the circuits, spanning nine Western states, Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands. It repeatedly has made rulings at which conservatives bristle, including the 2002 decision that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional because of the phrase "under God."

The plan, which has been discussed for years, would create a new 12th circuit with seven of the Western states, leaving the 9th Circuit with California, Hawaii, Guam and the islands.

Mr. Lungren said California conservatives have worried in the past that splitting the court would leave them with the liberal California judges. As part of the court-splitting provision, however, Mr. Bush would be allowed to nominate five new judges to the 9th Circuit immediately.

Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is livid, as is Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), so GOP Congressmen must be doing something right in taking dead aim at this progressive-liberal monstrosity of a court that legislates, rather than adjudicates. The notion of an "independent judiciary" has been thoroughly contorted in the hands of the 9th Circuit and represents an aberration of what the Founders contemplated in a system of checks and balances.

It's either this or the equivalent of a Boston Tea Party in San Francisco Bay.

POINT/COUNTER-POINT (11/05/05):

I agree wholeheartedly with with Jay at Stop The ACLU; Eugene Volokh argues that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals controversial ruling was not judicial activism.